The dialogue of Wes Anderson can be brief and direct, contributing to the films’ offbeat sense of humor, yet these lines are all the more powerful for their simplicity and quiet humanity, in addition to their implications of emotion. Here’s a list of my absolute favorite quotes from Wes Anderson films. Feel free to comment and mention some your personal favorites:
“What kind of bird are you?” -Sam (Jared Gilman)
Looking back at Moonrise Kingdom, this quote stands out as the most pivotal line of the story. If you have not seen the film, the words will mean little to you; if you have, they could almost recall the entire movie. Such a sweet and innocent question, but it manages to launch the children into extreme rebellion and the adults into clumsy panic.
“Do you think I’m an athlete?” -Ash (Jason Schwartzman)
This is the perfect line to summarize Ash’s jealousy in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Like most of this list, I laugh when I come upon this line, but it exists for more than laughs. Ash watches his father brag about Kristofferson’s athleticism and feels at odds with his cousin. These words, lead the audience to discover one of Ash’s primary desires: his father’s acceptance.
“I wrote a hit play!” -Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman)
Once again, Anderson skillfully summarizes the nature of one of his characters in a simple line of dialogue. Max’s stubbornness comes across with the line’s repetition and his almost constant effort to seem more mature than he is backfires completely. Of course, it’s also hilarious.
“I need help.” -Eli Cash (Owen Wilson)
Long before Eli Cash delivers this line, we know that he needs to change. The image of Cash lying on his back helplessly in a garden couldn’t have been better suited for these words. After an affair and a drug addiction, he is in an obvious position of surrender. The moment becomes all the more poignant because of this quote.